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New York, NY - Judge Won't Block City's Metzitzah B'Peh Law

Published on: January 10, 2013 07:43 PM
Last updated on: January 10, 2013 11:09 PM
By: Reuters
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FILE - An ultra-Orthodox Jewish father (C) holds his son before his circumcision September 24, 2012.  ReutersFILE - An ultra-Orthodox Jewish father (C) holds his son before his circumcision September 24, 2012.  Reuters

New York, NY - A Manhattan federal judge refused to block a New York City regulation requiring people who perform circumcisions and use their mouths to draw away blood from the wound on a baby’s penis to first obtain written consent from the parents.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on Thursday refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the change to the city’s health code, which some members of the city’s Orthodox Jewish communities called an unwarranted government intrusion on religious freedom.

In September, the New York City Board of Health voted to require mohels, who perform circumcisions, to obtain advance consent that tells parents about the risk of a potentially fatal herpes infection linked to the ritual of metzitzah b’peh, or MBP, involving direct oral suction of the penis.

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Enforcement of the regulation was put on hold until Buchwald could rule on the request by the Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada, the International Bris Association and some rabbis for a preliminary injunction.

In court papers filed in October, they said the regulation improperly singled out an exclusively religious ritual, and violated the free speech and free exercise protections within the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

But in a 93-page decision, Buchwald refused to halt enforcement of the regulation, and said the plaintiffs’ claims were likely to be found without merit.

“There is ample medical evidence that direct oral suction places infants at a serious risk of herpes infection, as well as evidence that parents are sometimes unaware in advance of a circumcision that MBP will occur, and the regulation plainly addresses these legitimate societal concerns,” Buchwald wrote.

“As enacted, the regulation does no more than ensure that parents can make an informed decision” whether to consent, she added.

Shay Dvoretzky, a partner at Jones Day representing the plaintiffs, was not immediately available for comment.

The city welcomed the decision. “Informing parents about the grave risks associated with this procedure is critical to safeguarding infants’ health,” Michelle Goldberg-Cahn, a senior lawyer for the city, said in a statement.

New York City said it plans to begin enforcing the consent requirement even if litigation continues.

City health officials on Thursday said at least 11 infant boys have in the last several years contracted a potentially fatal form of herpes following circumcision with direct oral suction, and that two of the boys died.

Opponents of the regulation have said the health department had not proven a higher incidence of neonatal herpes among boys who had received direct oral suction.

The case is Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada et al v. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-07590.


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1

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:10 PM Facts1 Says:

So did the enlightened Greek, Hellenist & Romans etc, we all know their place in history. This too will pass, together with the enlightened Jews of today, we the frum, tradition grasping primitive Jews will stay forever.

History repeats itself.

As Mark Twain said, Jews walk on the graves of their oppressors.

2

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:41 PM ZSNYC Says:

The appellate court will bezras hashem. I've been told that they knew before hand that she won't issue this injunction. So that's why they filed immediately, with high hopes.

3

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:53 PM sasregener Says:

So will gestapo leader

Herr Bloomberg now send in his SS stormtroopers to every bris to make sure that everything is kosher. Tell me how this is different then the greeks or romans yimach shemom

4

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:55 PM lamdan Says:

What's the fuss about maybe we can make a compromise every mohel should have to take a test if he's positive then he can't be a mohel

5

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:02 PM Dr Z Says:

When will Bloomberg require priests to obtain written consent before giving wine to minors and others who may become alcoholic (which plagues so much of our society, particularly Catholics)? When will he require written consent before circumcision is done on 13 year old Moslem boys?
The health risks here are miniscule. The risks to religious freedom are not.
Selective regulation of religious practice should be of concern to all of us.

6

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:12 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #1  
Facts1 Says:

So did the enlightened Greek, Hellenist & Romans etc, we all know their place in history. This too will pass, together with the enlightened Jews of today, we the frum, tradition grasping primitive Jews will stay forever.

History repeats itself.

As Mark Twain said, Jews walk on the graves of their oppressors.

Where did Mark Twain say this?

7

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:22 PM Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

9

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:53 PM Anonymous Says:

#5 - you showed your true colors as your questioning the mere fact of mitzvas mileh...

The mitzveh was given so, to perform this little surgery on an 8 year old baby, who has no say, and it has been so for over 4,000 years!

10

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:57 PM Yossel Says:

The judge weighs the evidence presented and believes an informed consent is reasonable. She didn't ban MBP. She didn't ban circumcision. She only ruled that an informed consent is a reasonable regulation. Yet some of you are already screaming "Nazi, SS or Stormtrooper." Grow up.

11

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:58 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Seems like a minimal interference with religious matters to protect the public's interest.

12

 Jan 10, 2013 at 09:59 PM kliger kup Says:

Reply to #4  
lamdan Says:

What's the fuss about maybe we can make a compromise every mohel should have to take a test if he's positive then he can't be a mohel

Mr. Lamden, get aquinted with the real facts, bloomberg says openly that he's not planning to stop at the consent forms, this is just the first step in gaining control over jewish people performing a bris in general! Next he'll ask for the bris to be performed in a hospital with all protective gear, gloves, masks and aprons...

Do you see where this is going? He needs to face uter resistance right at the very first move he makes...

It has not been proven in fact that these babies died as a direct result from metzitzeh b'peh... It is a thought, a possibility, but not a proven fact, especially when speaking of thousands of babies each year, and very few cases which "may have been" linked to the mohel...

13

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM chosid Says:

Let's see them try to enforce this.

14

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM Reb Yid Says:

The baby wants what the Torah wants to be done.

15

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM Aryeh Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

16

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:32 PM savtat Says:

I am a little confused about the comparison to the Greeks - NYC has not banned the Bris Milah - it is just trying to regulate it for the health of the infant. And, this is also a concern for the parents who want their baby to be healthy. Would anyone consider a mohel who has herpes? Please, let's be sane here.

17

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM Secular Says:

Here we go, the throwbacks against the Kofrim

18

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Dr Z Says:

When will Bloomberg require priests to obtain written consent before giving wine to minors and others who may become alcoholic (which plagues so much of our society, particularly Catholics)? When will he require written consent before circumcision is done on 13 year old Moslem boys?
The health risks here are miniscule. The risks to religious freedom are not.
Selective regulation of religious practice should be of concern to all of us.

Actually, it poses no risk to religious freedom at all. Metzitzah B'Peh is not part of the mitzvah of bris millah. The rabbis of the Mishnah sanctioned this aspect of the bris because they believed it would confer health benefits to the infant (protection from illness). Actually, the Gemara says that a mohel who does not perform metzitzah should be disqualified from performing another bris. However, the reason is not because he didn't fulfill the mitzvah of bris millah, but because failure to perform metzitzah was viewed as a threat to the infant's physical health. The rabbis of the Talmud erred in some of their recommendations simply because the knowledge didn't exist. Prevention of spreading disease through hand washing was not discovered until the 1800s! Anyway, mohels today must perform aseptic technique when performing the bris (wear gloves, use autoclaved instruments - instruments that were sterilized in a machine that reaches extremely high temperature and pressure). The purpose is obviously to protect the infant's health. Given all this, where exactly does metzitzah fit into the bris when the mouth is one of the most (if not the most) microbe-infested part of the body?

19

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM Anonymous Says:

To #9. I do post my comment and criticize sometimes when I have something smart to write, but you are off the deep end, so I will not comment to a piece of garbage like you. I am deeply sorry. Next time.

20

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Sorry to #8

21

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM ShlomoA Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

Your nephew died from this.
from what?
a.) from a Bris Milah that went awry,
b.) from an infection contacted after or before the Bris, i.e. Herpes
c.) from Metzizah B'Peh

Please clarify what you are referring to.

22

 Jan 10, 2013 at 11:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Maybe according to you we shouldn't give the baby a Bris at all? The baby didn't consent... did it?

Please don't call people with a Torah education worthless. It's degrading & insulting to people who dedicate their lives to H'KB"H.

And besides... at least they have some education. You can't write a grammatically correct sentence yourself. Some education is better than none... correct?

23

 Jan 10, 2013 at 11:54 PM OccupyAgudah Says:

Reply to #12  
kliger kup Says:

Mr. Lamden, get aquinted with the real facts, bloomberg says openly that he's not planning to stop at the consent forms, this is just the first step in gaining control over jewish people performing a bris in general! Next he'll ask for the bris to be performed in a hospital with all protective gear, gloves, masks and aprons...

Do you see where this is going? He needs to face uter resistance right at the very first move he makes...

It has not been proven in fact that these babies died as a direct result from metzitzeh b'peh... It is a thought, a possibility, but not a proven fact, especially when speaking of thousands of babies each year, and very few cases which "may have been" linked to the mohel...

When did he say this openly? Please give a source.

It is not a "possibility". It is a fact. The leading infectious disease doctors in the U.S. stated this. What is your knowledge base, that you are refuting them.

Short of getting a DNA sample from the mohel, there is no way to "prove it". It is attributable to it, and any non closed minded individual looking at the facts, doesn't truthfully deny this.

I don't see a problem with this at all. Many individuals, myself included, were not aware of the risks associated and even that mbp was being performed. How is informing a parent of the risk and having him acknowledge it and consent, a bad idea?

Don't throw around statistics. We value each life individually, as important as the whole world. To say things like "one in thousands" is contrary to

24

 Jan 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM OccupyAgudah Says:

Reply to #12  
kliger kup Says:

Mr. Lamden, get aquinted with the real facts, bloomberg says openly that he's not planning to stop at the consent forms, this is just the first step in gaining control over jewish people performing a bris in general! Next he'll ask for the bris to be performed in a hospital with all protective gear, gloves, masks and aprons...

Do you see where this is going? He needs to face uter resistance right at the very first move he makes...

It has not been proven in fact that these babies died as a direct result from metzitzeh b'peh... It is a thought, a possibility, but not a proven fact, especially when speaking of thousands of babies each year, and very few cases which "may have been" linked to the mohel...

Cont..

Is contrary to the very beliefs you wish to protect.

Every single mohel should be tested and cleared to perform the procedure. To not do so is repugnant and reckless, now that it has been linked to causing death and illness in newborns.

25

 Jan 11, 2013 at 12:12 AM common-cense Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

Why don't I believe you Mr. Anonymous??

26

 Jan 11, 2013 at 12:16 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Actually, it poses no risk to religious freedom at all. Metzitzah B'Peh is not part of the mitzvah of bris millah. The rabbis of the Mishnah sanctioned this aspect of the bris because they believed it would confer health benefits to the infant (protection from illness). Actually, the Gemara says that a mohel who does not perform metzitzah should be disqualified from performing another bris. However, the reason is not because he didn't fulfill the mitzvah of bris millah, but because failure to perform metzitzah was viewed as a threat to the infant's physical health. The rabbis of the Talmud erred in some of their recommendations simply because the knowledge didn't exist. Prevention of spreading disease through hand washing was not discovered until the 1800s! Anyway, mohels today must perform aseptic technique when performing the bris (wear gloves, use autoclaved instruments - instruments that were sterilized in a machine that reaches extremely high temperature and pressure). The purpose is obviously to protect the infant's health. Given all this, where exactly does metzitzah fit into the bris when the mouth is one of the most (if not the most) microbe-infested part of the body?

Another Lamdan in town; this very issue was debated, discussed and written in-length, over a hundred years ago, regarding if MbP is part of the Milah or not. See S'dei Chemed Vol 8 .
Some quote the following Harachaman we are all familiar with, indicating metzizah as an essential part of milah :
הרחמן היא יברך המל בשר הערלה ופרע "ומצץ" דמי המילה איש הירא ורך הלבב עבודתו פסולה אם ש ל ש אלה לא עשה

Fact - Metzizah has always been a part of ritual brit performance, even before the Talmud. See Igrot Harambam; 'Mamar Kiddush Hashem' quoting a Midrash:

כך אמרו חז"ל: משה היה מל ויהושע פורע ואהרן "מוצץ" ואספו ערלות חמרים חמרים והיה דם מילה מתערב בדם פסח, ובזה היו ראוים ליגאל

27

 Jan 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM DemsBeBabies Says:

IYH my next son's bris will have metzitzah bpeh, 17 oz cups with only soda served, all dishes will have a ton of salt, relatives with armed concealed carry permits, only parking for cars (no bike lockup area), and maybe even a smoker. Maybe i can get my wife to let me name him John Galt!

28

 Jan 11, 2013 at 01:22 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #3  
sasregener Says:

So will gestapo leader

Herr Bloomberg now send in his SS stormtroopers to every bris to make sure that everything is kosher. Tell me how this is different then the greeks or romans yimach shemom

"Tell me how this is different then the greeks or romans yimach shemom"

Tell you how this is different? The יונים mandated that any Jew who performs a ברית מילה dies! Even someone with limited intelligence such as yourself, must be capable of grasping that this is not what "Herr Bloomberg and his SS storm troopers" have in mind! Incidentally, where is the source that says Rome did not permit ברית מילה? Or, are we making things up again out of the tops of our heads?

Through your hatred of Mayor Bloomberg, a פריי Jew, your are willing to make a fool of yourself in front of us all. But then, there is nothing surprising about that!

29

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:07 AM anonymous Says:

To all those who are commenting negatively to number 5, I think you may have misunderstand what the comment meant. From what I understand, he said:

The health risks here are miniscule. = The health risks of metzizah b'peh are miniscule
The risks to religious freedom are not.= The risk of starting to put any limits on metzitzah b'peh are not miniscule; it is a big risk to religious freedom to start tampering with metzitzah b'peh

I think you commenters and commenter #5 are in agreement

30

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:21 AM c Says:

Thank G-d the govt is here to protect our children even when we won't!

31

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:26 AM c Says:

Reply to #15  
Aryeh Says:

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

What's your source for this outright lie!

32

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:34 AM shlomogabai Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

#5 - you showed your true colors as your questioning the mere fact of mitzvas mileh...

The mitzveh was given so, to perform this little surgery on an 8 year old baby, who has no say, and it has been so for over 4,000 years!

I hope you liberal didn't vaccinate your kid! I know a kid Nebach who got fever after getting childhood vaccinations, and is in a coma for 3 years already! Did your kid consent to your torturing him by potty training? did he consent to your torturing him in school? how about going to sleep! I think you should get Um like 50 lifetimes in prison for abusing your kid like that!

We can all over dramatize anything just like self hating bloomberg ym"sh. Everybody has their agenda, me to be a true yid, bloomberg to "regulate" my yiddishness! Me to listen to "lo sosur yamin usmol" "v'asita kchol asher yorucha" etc. and bloomberg is trying to get a dais seat by telling me that this secular jew is our judge on jewishness.

Yes BABUSHKAS. You aren't either qualified to judge jewish law! (prove that you got the horaa and then I might listen to you (but true jewish horaa, not reform).

I hope ha-m gives this kofer Hellenist bloomberg all the ten makos, according to the pshat that the egyptians got 250 makos in total. That rotten selfish spoiled brat.

33

 Jan 11, 2013 at 04:48 AM Truth Says:

We should worry about how we can protect the kids, instead of filling out some form.
Are we going to test Mohelim or we going to possibly continue putting babies in Sakana? The reaction against the city reg. is just a knee-jerk reaction. It's time to grow up and do what the Torah wants from us like protecting little kids!

34

 Jan 11, 2013 at 05:18 AM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Here's a question. The Gemarah clearly indicates that metzitza is not an ikkar part of the mitzvah of milah but is a refuah. There are many refuahs found in Shas that we are instructed not to rely on. for instance, we don't eat the liver of a rabid dog to cure rabies. If we are instructed not to rely on refuahs found in Shas, why do we rely on this one? Or, if we b'davkah perform metzitza b'peh to strengthen mitzvah observance in the face of rampant haskalah, why don't we also adhere to the other Tamudic refuahs?

35

 Jan 11, 2013 at 07:47 AM cool masmid Says:

Wow! It's people like you that we need to be so careful from. In your few lines you managed quite a bit. You trashed both Torah and the people that learn it. And not to mention you degraded the Mitzvah of Bris Milah. Rabbosai - they're out there, we got to be so careful from these misfits.

36

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:01 AM Just the Facts Says:

Reply to #15  
Aryeh Says:

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

Can someone please help educate me on this? I have some questions and I have not been able to find answers.

1) It is my understanding that the virus has time periods where it sheds (it shows itself) and time periods where it cannot be found on the carrier. Therefore a carrier would have to be willing to sit for weeks in a lab so they can continuously take samples until they got an actual DNA fingerprint of the virus.

Did they ever get samples of the virus with its DNA signature from both the baby plus the Mohel and it didn't match or just that since there were no reliable samples it is not proven?

2) If the source of the virus is not MBP/Mohel and it is from other family members or caregivers, how come:

a) there are no reports of baby girls from frum families with the virus?

b) there are no reports of in the general population of babies having the virus?

37

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:04 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #15  
Aryeh Says:

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

o not lie to prove a point read the report. the mohel in all cases refused to have a dna test done or the parents refused to say who the mohel was.

there is a higher incident of male babies in the frum communities getting herpies than the general public and higher then girl babies in the frum community.

38

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:05 AM Reb Yid Says:

There is risk to everything in life. The gemara acknowledges there is risk to bris milah in general, which is why if two brothers died from milah we don't circumcise the third, but we don't abandon milah entirely to prevent the first two fatalities. There is a risk of death from driving in a car, but we don't ban cars, or even make people sign a consent form saying "I know this auto trip might be my last." Apart from medical procedures and for liability reasons, the only thing that requires a consent because of risk is bris milah with metzitzah bepeh. Does that not strike you as a bit odd, if not downright discriminatory?

39

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:16 AM Adam_Neira Says:

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald has made the right decision here.

40

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:16 AM Secular Says:

Reply to #26  
ChachoMoe Says:

Another Lamdan in town; this very issue was debated, discussed and written in-length, over a hundred years ago, regarding if MbP is part of the Milah or not. See S'dei Chemed Vol 8 .
Some quote the following Harachaman we are all familiar with, indicating metzizah as an essential part of milah :
הרחמן היא יברך המל בשר הערלה ופרע "ומצץ" דמי המילה איש הירא ורך הלבב עבודתו פסולה אם ש ל ש אלה לא עשה

Fact - Metzizah has always been a part of ritual brit performance, even before the Talmud. See Igrot Harambam; 'Mamar Kiddush Hashem' quoting a Midrash:

כך אמרו חז"ל: משה היה מל ויהושע פורע ואהרן "מוצץ" ואספו ערלות חמרים חמרים והיה דם מילה מתערב בדם פסח, ובזה היו ראוים ליגאל

And yet Rashi says that there was no commandment of periah before Matan Torah!

The midrash is not literal or historic (in this case).

41

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:21 AM Secular Says:

Reply to #26  
ChachoMoe Says:

Another Lamdan in town; this very issue was debated, discussed and written in-length, over a hundred years ago, regarding if MbP is part of the Milah or not. See S'dei Chemed Vol 8 .
Some quote the following Harachaman we are all familiar with, indicating metzizah as an essential part of milah :
הרחמן היא יברך המל בשר הערלה ופרע "ומצץ" דמי המילה איש הירא ורך הלבב עבודתו פסולה אם ש ל ש אלה לא עשה

Fact - Metzizah has always been a part of ritual brit performance, even before the Talmud. See Igrot Harambam; 'Mamar Kiddush Hashem' quoting a Midrash:

כך אמרו חז"ל: משה היה מל ויהושע פורע ואהרן "מוצץ" ואספו ערלות חמרים חמרים והיה דם מילה מתערב בדם פסח, ובזה היו ראוים ליגאל

Not only that, but do chazal say that Avraham performed Metzitza?

He probably didn't perform periah, much less Metzitza!

What about Tziporah? Did she perform Metzitza or did Moshe Rabeinu's son not have a kosher bris?

42

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:35 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #38  
Reb Yid Says:

There is risk to everything in life. The gemara acknowledges there is risk to bris milah in general, which is why if two brothers died from milah we don't circumcise the third, but we don't abandon milah entirely to prevent the first two fatalities. There is a risk of death from driving in a car, but we don't ban cars, or even make people sign a consent form saying "I know this auto trip might be my last." Apart from medical procedures and for liability reasons, the only thing that requires a consent because of risk is bris milah with metzitzah bepeh. Does that not strike you as a bit odd, if not downright discriminatory?

on every ski slope ticket and sporting event there is a consent attached and or written on it

43

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:37 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #38  
Reb Yid Says:

There is risk to everything in life. The gemara acknowledges there is risk to bris milah in general, which is why if two brothers died from milah we don't circumcise the third, but we don't abandon milah entirely to prevent the first two fatalities. There is a risk of death from driving in a car, but we don't ban cars, or even make people sign a consent form saying "I know this auto trip might be my last." Apart from medical procedures and for liability reasons, the only thing that requires a consent because of risk is bris milah with metzitzah bepeh. Does that not strike you as a bit odd, if not downright discriminatory?

why are the mohels and or the robonum refusing the have then dna tested of the mohels?

Why not have a herpies test on a mohel every 6 months or whatever?

what are they afraid of?

44

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:37 AM LashonTov Says:

We have seen from even recent history that when we as a Jewish people fail to enforce our own Torah, Hashem sends the enforcement through outside means. The Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany were a prime example. Do you think this was the first time Metzitza B'PEH has been cited as a sakana? Absolutely not!
And remember as well that it is not Metzitza that is the sakana, it is the B'PEH method that is potential danger now that Herpes Simplex 1 is so prevalent in our society. (Jan. 7, 2005 — A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study.)
We routinely screen blood now for HIV due to the changes in our society. And every year at Pesach we are told to do Bedikas Chometz with flashlights instead of candles due to the danger. So why not change the Metzitza method used to be safer for the child?

45

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:47 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Actually, it poses no risk to religious freedom at all. Metzitzah B'Peh is not part of the mitzvah of bris millah. The rabbis of the Mishnah sanctioned this aspect of the bris because they believed it would confer health benefits to the infant (protection from illness). Actually, the Gemara says that a mohel who does not perform metzitzah should be disqualified from performing another bris. However, the reason is not because he didn't fulfill the mitzvah of bris millah, but because failure to perform metzitzah was viewed as a threat to the infant's physical health. The rabbis of the Talmud erred in some of their recommendations simply because the knowledge didn't exist. Prevention of spreading disease through hand washing was not discovered until the 1800s! Anyway, mohels today must perform aseptic technique when performing the bris (wear gloves, use autoclaved instruments - instruments that were sterilized in a machine that reaches extremely high temperature and pressure). The purpose is obviously to protect the infant's health. Given all this, where exactly does metzitzah fit into the bris when the mouth is one of the most (if not the most) microbe-infested part of the body?

Religious freedom has nothing to do with how you in particular define Judaism. Religious freedom means that someone is free to call pig kosher as well (which is why the NJ kosher law gives a list of what a kosher establishment serves, including treif, which they could answer yes or no, because the government has no business is defining what is kosher or not). The fact is that the Arizal taught that MBD is integral to the mitzvah and it brings a blessing of holiness to the child. If you do not follow the Arizal, that is your business, and if I do, that is mine, and not the government's. If you are a rov in a shul, you teach your own congregants but not mine. If you are a lay person, you are free to go to a shul that has your non-kabbalistic hashkafah, but do not impose your views on those of us who have differing religious convictions than you.

46

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:16 AM Pro-Lifer Says:

Because we failed to protect our children from mbp, the city is doing it for us. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

47

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:18 AM JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

If what you claim it true, than how come you are not exposing the mohel by name, let others know who this person it.

48

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:24 AM JoeGrossJR Says:

This is the only quote attributed to Mark Twain that I actually found.
”...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

- Mark Twain
(“Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899)

49

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:25 AM ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Reply to #34  
Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Here's a question. The Gemarah clearly indicates that metzitza is not an ikkar part of the mitzvah of milah but is a refuah. There are many refuahs found in Shas that we are instructed not to rely on. for instance, we don't eat the liver of a rabid dog to cure rabies. If we are instructed not to rely on refuahs found in Shas, why do we rely on this one? Or, if we b'davkah perform metzitza b'peh to strengthen mitzvah observance in the face of rampant haskalah, why don't we also adhere to the other Tamudic refuahs?

Good question, did Abraham do oral suction when he performed milah?

Do we still stone children for disobeying their parents?

Do we kill people who break shabbos?

Should we still kill girls if it is discovered they are not virgins on their wedding night? (devorim 22:13-21)

50

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Aryeh Says:

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

You are lying, now were in the documents filed with the court discuses a DNA test from the mohel, as a matter of fact, the state doesn’t even know who the mohel was, they he to use deductive reasoning and scientific reasoning to eliminate the parents and conclude that it must be the mohel.

51

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:32 AM shlomogabai Says:

Reply to #24  
OccupyAgudah Says:

Cont..

Is contrary to the very beliefs you wish to protect.

Every single mohel should be tested and cleared to perform the procedure. To not do so is repugnant and reckless, now that it has been linked to causing death and illness in newborns.

Sooo is this a consent a requirement for the mohel to test himself?

52

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:40 AM JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to #12  
kliger kup Says:

Mr. Lamden, get aquinted with the real facts, bloomberg says openly that he's not planning to stop at the consent forms, this is just the first step in gaining control over jewish people performing a bris in general! Next he'll ask for the bris to be performed in a hospital with all protective gear, gloves, masks and aprons...

Do you see where this is going? He needs to face uter resistance right at the very first move he makes...

It has not been proven in fact that these babies died as a direct result from metzitzeh b'peh... It is a thought, a possibility, but not a proven fact, especially when speaking of thousands of babies each year, and very few cases which "may have been" linked to the mohel...

You wrote “ bloomberg (sic) says openly”

I checked and I couldn’t find any authoritative sources, beside a few imbeciles, the fact that you make a sweeping claim, which could easily be verified, and you don’t have any qualms about it, gives the rest of us pose and reflection, on your veracity.

53

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

If he did, why are you posting anonymously? Wouldn't you want to alert us to the "danger"?

54

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
DemsBeBabies Says:

IYH my next son's bris will have metzitzah bpeh, 17 oz cups with only soda served, all dishes will have a ton of salt, relatives with armed concealed carry permits, only parking for cars (no bike lockup area), and maybe even a smoker. Maybe i can get my wife to let me name him John Galt!

The way you describe your fantasy, you might lite up a cigar and stick it in the infants mouth, and shout his nasal passage, let him enjoy his passage to manhood with a cigar.

55

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

My nephew died from this. Please think before you comment. Thank you.

Why would I believe you if you post anonymously? For all I know, you could be our esteemed MAYOR.

56

 Jan 11, 2013 at 09:56 AM Sol Says:

I don't understand.
If all the Rishonim and Poskim write, that the reason for doing MBP is “Sekanah Hi L’yeled”, how could anyone argue that MBP is part of the Mitzvah?
L’Halocho, MBP is like raising your head out of the water after Tevilla shel Mitzvah. You’re still involved in the activities of Tevilla but its no longer a Mitzvah.
If MBP would be part of the Mitzvah, we would do, it even when we Malleh older children who are Balei Tshuvah.

57

 Jan 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM Anonymous Says:

The worthless one is YOU...HONEY.
We need to ask a baby permission...I see...We also need to ask him if he likes chazer better than kosher, wouldn't you think....or if he should or shouldn't wear tzitzis, or anything....after all...we need his permission to raise him the way we see fit. He may have an entirely different feeling about it all.

58

 Jan 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
c Says:

Thank G-d the govt is here to protect our children even when we won't!

I think the Torah protects them better...........sorry...
The Gov't protecting us?...wow
Can tell you about a bunch of deaths on account of their '"protection" oiy iz mir...

59

 Jan 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
shredready Says:

o not lie to prove a point read the report. the mohel in all cases refused to have a dna test done or the parents refused to say who the mohel was.

there is a higher incident of male babies in the frum communities getting herpies than the general public and higher then girl babies in the frum community.

let's get a list...and take it from there..

60

 Jan 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #59  
Anonymous Says:

let's get a list...and take it from there..

it was done already just do a search there has been many studies done

61

 Jan 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Aryeh Says:

No he did not. Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel.

"Was there a DNA test done to determine the strain of virus? Every single time that this analysis has been performed in New York State, the results ruled out the mohel."

The tests were done and the mohel had herpes, the same strain my nephew had. Neither of the parents were infected. Stop trying to cover up for a mohel who knows he has herpes and yet still performs this. Mohels need to be tested annually since many of them have herpes.

62

 Jan 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM c Says:

Reply to #58  
Anonymous Says:

I think the Torah protects them better...........sorry...
The Gov't protecting us?...wow
Can tell you about a bunch of deaths on account of their '"protection" oiy iz mir...

The Torah doesn't tell you to expose an open wound to saliva at potential risk of disease and death. And as far as the govt goes, I see you agree that it is sad they have to come in and porotect our children considering their lapses in other areas. You can expose your kid to unsanitary conditions and risk the spread of an infectous disease if you wish to. I for one do not and I want to be informed if it is even a small possibility. And I want mohels performing this procedure to be tested for herpes. I fact I would imagine the mohel himself should want to be tested!

63

 Jan 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM Shtarker Says:

Nothing new here. If a gentile does something we don't like they're a Greek or a Roman or a Nazi. If a Jew does something we don't like they're an apikoros, a koffer, a Zionist, etc. And everyone brings ma'areh mekomos to prove their opinion. This is why Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. came into being.

64

 Jan 11, 2013 at 01:57 PM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #48  
JoeGrossJR Says:

This is the only quote attributed to Mark Twain that I actually found.
”...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

- Mark Twain
(“Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899)

Nice!

Point is we are here to stay, that we is the frumest of our society.

The fact is that there is no Kariate movement, no Sadducees movement, no Hellenist, no Espinozas, etc. they are all gone. So is the German enlightened Jew. The reform/conservative Jew is vanishing (read Dershowitz's "The Vanishing American Jew"), all that would be left is Ultra Orthdox Jew.

Facts;
1)At the DOH board meeting which is widely available on line, they clearly said they felt it should be banned and would revisit the issue. They explained that first they must create awareness and allow thier assumption to become a fact then they can move on.

2)Government always creates laws in stages, so that peopel are suspetable. That's why we are and should be very suspicous about this.I see no reason why they as western egocentirc athiests would not ban this and then move on to Milah itself. It may tak 100 years for that to happen, but we need to fight back at the very early satges.

3)There is nothing wrong if someone has a mesorah not to do this, they are just as loyal as we are to their tradition, but they dare not try to change our minhag. it's the equivlant of asking Ashkanizim to eat rice on Pesach.

65

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
bewhiskered Says:

"Tell me how this is different then the greeks or romans yimach shemom"

Tell you how this is different? The יונים mandated that any Jew who performs a ברית מילה dies! Even someone with limited intelligence such as yourself, must be capable of grasping that this is not what "Herr Bloomberg and his SS storm troopers" have in mind! Incidentally, where is the source that says Rome did not permit ברית מילה? Or, are we making things up again out of the tops of our heads?

Through your hatred of Mayor Bloomberg, a פריי Jew, your are willing to make a fool of yourself in front of us all. But then, there is nothing surprising about that!

"The Roman emperor Hadrian issued a decree banning circumcision in the empire"

It's a fact, it needs no source. Its that decree that brought about the revolt of Bar Kochva.

It's also a fact that decrees are always introduced with some legitimacy, you need to read between the lines and understand that they are very much anti circumcision all together and will make it difficult in incremental stages.

To get the full picture what they really would like to do down the road just listen to the DOH meeting on this subject, the majority of the board was complaining that they should ban MBP, no consent form just ban it. The response of the commissionaire was that, "we will revisit this issue" and that they dont want to rock the boat all at once.

66

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #63  
Shtarker Says:

Nothing new here. If a gentile does something we don't like they're a Greek or a Roman or a Nazi. If a Jew does something we don't like they're an apikoros, a koffer, a Zionist, etc. And everyone brings ma'areh mekomos to prove their opinion. This is why Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. came into being.

"This is why Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. came into being. ”

Not the first (hopefully the last) separatist movement that came and went, they to are vanishing at an astonishing rate.

We prize our Judaism too much to negotiate and compromise and that's why we are around.

Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. unfortunately didnt prize their yiddishkeit so much, they liked the kreplich, the latkas and Jewish theatre but not the religion, that's why the compromised.

Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. unfortunately trusted the German's as well, they saw them as a role model until......

67

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:35 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #13  
chosid Says:

Let's see them try to enforce this.

I am with you. We are not here after the last 3,000 years because we allowed goyim to dictate to us.

Gut shabbos.

68

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:51 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #49  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Good question, did Abraham do oral suction when he performed milah?

Do we still stone children for disobeying their parents?

Do we kill people who break shabbos?

Should we still kill girls if it is discovered they are not virgins on their wedding night? (devorim 22:13-21)

No, we do not. We can't be killing modern so called orthodox girls, get real.

69

 Jan 11, 2013 at 02:55 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #56  
Sol Says:

I don't understand.
If all the Rishonim and Poskim write, that the reason for doing MBP is “Sekanah Hi L’yeled”, how could anyone argue that MBP is part of the Mitzvah?
L’Halocho, MBP is like raising your head out of the water after Tevilla shel Mitzvah. You’re still involved in the activities of Tevilla but its no longer a Mitzvah.
If MBP would be part of the Mitzvah, we would do, it even when we Malleh older children who are Balei Tshuvah.

"If all the Rishonim and Poskim write, that the reason for doing MBP is “Sekanah Hi L’yeled”, how could anyone argue that MBP is part of the Mitzvah?"

ראשונים and פוסקים never made such a statement, because it is openly stated in the גמרא of שבת קל"ג ע"ב:

אמר רב פפא האי אומנא דלא מייץ סכנה הוא ועברינן ליה

And, the same גמרא in the משנה on שבת קל"ג ע"א states:

עושין כל צרכי מילה בשבת מוהלין ופורעין ומוצצין

which shows that מציצה is clearly part of ברית מילה. Prior to posting in the future, you really ought to think about what you're going to say!

70

 Jan 11, 2013 at 05:05 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #65  
Anonymous Says:

"The Roman emperor Hadrian issued a decree banning circumcision in the empire"

It's a fact, it needs no source. Its that decree that brought about the revolt of Bar Kochva.

It's also a fact that decrees are always introduced with some legitimacy, you need to read between the lines and understand that they are very much anti circumcision all together and will make it difficult in incremental stages.

To get the full picture what they really would like to do down the road just listen to the DOH meeting on this subject, the majority of the board was complaining that they should ban MBP, no consent form just ban it. The response of the commissionaire was that, "we will revisit this issue" and that they dont want to rock the boat all at once.

"It's a fact, it needs no source."

Yes, if you're that deluded, no sources are necessary! By the way, when I ask for sources, I am referring to sources from חז"ל, not from Wikipedia!

71

 Jan 12, 2013 at 08:45 PM MIESQ Says:

I t is well settled practice for government to intercede on behalf of people who cannot act on their own behalf such as infants. Similarly it seems equally well settled in the legal community to completely misunderstand the morals, mores and sensibilities of communities they are not a part of. While facilitating informed consent may ordinarily be laudable in this instance it is the imposition of the general society’s values upon the Orthodox Jewish community. Such a governmental intrusion particularly when dealing with a historically persecuted group is egregiously odious. Historically various benevolent government sought to “help” the Jews by legislating against certain Jewish practices.
The failure of the attorneys and Judge listed in the article who appear to have Jewish family names to recognize the Metziza B’Peh permission slip is akin to the Czar legislating against Jewish dress or the Russian and latter Polish authorities demanding secular education against the Yeshivoth

72

 Jan 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to #64  
Facts1 Says:

Nice!

Point is we are here to stay, that we is the frumest of our society.

The fact is that there is no Kariate movement, no Sadducees movement, no Hellenist, no Espinozas, etc. they are all gone. So is the German enlightened Jew. The reform/conservative Jew is vanishing (read Dershowitz's "The Vanishing American Jew"), all that would be left is Ultra Orthdox Jew.

Facts;
1)At the DOH board meeting which is widely available on line, they clearly said they felt it should be banned and would revisit the issue. They explained that first they must create awareness and allow thier assumption to become a fact then they can move on.

2)Government always creates laws in stages, so that peopel are suspetable. That's why we are and should be very suspicous about this.I see no reason why they as western egocentirc athiests would not ban this and then move on to Milah itself. It may tak 100 years for that to happen, but we need to fight back at the very early satges.

3)There is nothing wrong if someone has a mesorah not to do this, they are just as loyal as we are to their tradition, but they dare not try to change our minhag. it's the equivlant of asking Ashkanizim to eat rice on Pesach.

Part 1
Literally, I don’t have any idea what you are trying to say. You writing are lacking. Nevertheless, I will try to decipher what you are trying to say.
Are you arguing that because the fact that there is no Karaite or Sadducees movement, and Judaism is still part of today’s society therefore, what? If you are arguing that that is prove that we as Jews are more unique. Than you could easily argue, that there are other religions that are small and exist for thousands of years.
Being a small group and a long history does not make for the “true” religion. Additionally, Mark Twain didn’t use the example of religious Jews, he was taking about, business leaders, doctor’s professor, the arts, and you are talking about yeshiva students. Espinoza is not a religion, he was a thinker and yes he died like every other human, to date.

73

 Jan 12, 2013 at 08:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
Facts1 Says:

Nice!

Point is we are here to stay, that we is the frumest of our society.

The fact is that there is no Kariate movement, no Sadducees movement, no Hellenist, no Espinozas, etc. they are all gone. So is the German enlightened Jew. The reform/conservative Jew is vanishing (read Dershowitz's "The Vanishing American Jew"), all that would be left is Ultra Orthdox Jew.

Facts;
1)At the DOH board meeting which is widely available on line, they clearly said they felt it should be banned and would revisit the issue. They explained that first they must create awareness and allow thier assumption to become a fact then they can move on.

2)Government always creates laws in stages, so that peopel are suspetable. That's why we are and should be very suspicous about this.I see no reason why they as western egocentirc athiests would not ban this and then move on to Milah itself. It may tak 100 years for that to happen, but we need to fight back at the very early satges.

3)There is nothing wrong if someone has a mesorah not to do this, they are just as loyal as we are to their tradition, but they dare not try to change our minhag. it's the equivlant of asking Ashkanizim to eat rice on Pesach.

Part 2
German enlightened Jews, today every Jew who is not orthodox and goes to school, he is enlightened, and forever we had a percentage of religious Jews feeding the ranks of the none-orthodox Jews. In addition, this will go on forever and it has been going on from the start of Hebrew history.
When you argue about secular law you totally lost me, you making statements without any underpinning facts or just even a logical argument. Sorry, get together your thoughts and explain to us what you are really trying to say.

74

 Jan 12, 2013 at 11:19 PM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #70  
bewhiskered Says:

"It's a fact, it needs no source."

Yes, if you're that deluded, no sources are necessary! By the way, when I ask for sources, I am referring to sources from חז"ל, not from Wikipedia!

Now you're being Petty, is Wikipedia also part of the ultra orthodox movement?

Everyone knows the story of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi and Antoninus who were exchanged when the court came to check of Rebbi Yehuda was circumcised against the "Roman" emperor's law.

How hate can manipulate the obvious. Next you'll tell me it's a midrash.

75

 Jan 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #56  
Sol Says:

I don't understand.
If all the Rishonim and Poskim write, that the reason for doing MBP is “Sekanah Hi L’yeled”, how could anyone argue that MBP is part of the Mitzvah?
L’Halocho, MBP is like raising your head out of the water after Tevilla shel Mitzvah. You’re still involved in the activities of Tevilla but its no longer a Mitzvah.
If MBP would be part of the Mitzvah, we would do, it even when we Malleh older children who are Balei Tshuvah.

Allow me to quote an excerpt of a responsum written by one of the most revered Lithuanian Poskim of the 19th century; the Aderet Tumim
אדר"ת תאומים:
מה שהרופאים אומרים לבטל את המציצה, ומדמין זאת לרחיצת המילה והאיספלנית, וכמין שבטלה בזמן הזה שנשתנה הטבע, יש לדון, שהמציצה הוא גם כן מצוה ד’לדם ברית’ הוא צריך ובנולד מהול צריך להטיף דם ברית, וע״כ מוטלת המציצה על האומן המוהל דווקא, ועכ״א אומנא דלא מייץ סכנתא הוא ומעכבינן ליה- ולא אמרו כן באיספלנית וכדומה, וצ״ל משום דה״א דמציצה אינו רק משום שיורי מצוה דכל דנפיק טפי זוהמת דם לידה עדיף להידור מצוה (ואולי לא דחי שבת כציצין שא״מ) קמ״ל דסכנתא נמי איכא בהא, ועכ"פ מצוה נמי איכא בה, וע"כ מוטלת גם כן על המוהל.

ועכ״א הרחמן יברך המל ופרע ומצץ ולא חשיב הרוחץ המילה ואיספלנית וכמון, ומכל מקום זולת הסכנה ל״ה מעברינן להמוהל בשבילה, רק היו מזהירין אותו. (ובמג״ א תקנ״ט לא התירו לאכול בת"ב שנדחה רק לשלש אלה דמצוה - ולא לכמון ואיספלנית)

76

 Jan 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #73  
Anonymous Says:

Part 2
German enlightened Jews, today every Jew who is not orthodox and goes to school, he is enlightened, and forever we had a percentage of religious Jews feeding the ranks of the none-orthodox Jews. In addition, this will go on forever and it has been going on from the start of Hebrew history.
When you argue about secular law you totally lost me, you making statements without any underpinning facts or just even a logical argument. Sorry, get together your thoughts and explain to us what you are really trying to say.

The argument was about the what type of Judaism has continuity and of course it's the ultra Orthodox.. Twain was referring to our continuity.

77

 Jan 13, 2013 at 12:23 AM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #72  
JoeGrossJR Says:

Part 1
Literally, I don’t have any idea what you are trying to say. You writing are lacking. Nevertheless, I will try to decipher what you are trying to say.
Are you arguing that because the fact that there is no Karaite or Sadducees movement, and Judaism is still part of today’s society therefore, what? If you are arguing that that is prove that we as Jews are more unique. Than you could easily argue, that there are other religions that are small and exist for thousands of years.
Being a small group and a long history does not make for the “true” religion. Additionally, Mark Twain didn’t use the example of religious Jews, he was taking about, business leaders, doctor’s professor, the arts, and you are talking about yeshiva students. Espinoza is not a religion, he was a thinker and yes he died like every other human, to date.

No, I do not lack writing skills. On the contrary someone is lacking analytical skills (and writing skills)

The uniqueness of Judaism is a fact even if it's shared by other pagan religions. I would still however argue that we are way more unique because of the persecutions we endured and that we were always an integral part of society, not living in the Himalayas. Neither Twain or I were referring to the authenticity of Judaism, Twain couldn't care, and I cannot cover that in a comment. It's authentic, regardless. Twain was refferring to our continuity, not to Molly Peacock or Albert Einstien.

All I was pointing out was that 1) We -the Jewish people - are (as Twain said) immortal. 2)That the Jewish continuity, is of the Orthodox ranks. Jews without the Torah is like a rose, its nice, it's a nice piece of art, but will die shortly if it's not connected to the bush and soil which it draws water from. It's a fact, that all those movements, including followers of Espinoza, Mendolson, Zaddok and the karriots have vanished.

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 Jan 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #72  
JoeGrossJR Says:

Part 1
Literally, I don’t have any idea what you are trying to say. You writing are lacking. Nevertheless, I will try to decipher what you are trying to say.
Are you arguing that because the fact that there is no Karaite or Sadducees movement, and Judaism is still part of today’s society therefore, what? If you are arguing that that is prove that we as Jews are more unique. Than you could easily argue, that there are other religions that are small and exist for thousands of years.
Being a small group and a long history does not make for the “true” religion. Additionally, Mark Twain didn’t use the example of religious Jews, he was taking about, business leaders, doctor’s professor, the arts, and you are talking about yeshiva students. Espinoza is not a religion, he was a thinker and yes he died like every other human, to date.

"Are you arguing that because the fact that there is no Karaite or Sadducees movement, and Judaism is still part of today’s society therefore, what?"

Karaite and Sadducees were Jewish break away movements that disappeared because the have veered off the Orthodox Rabbinical guidance, they were reformed.

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 Jan 13, 2013 at 12:46 AM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #48  
JoeGrossJR Says:

This is the only quote attributed to Mark Twain that I actually found.
”...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

- Mark Twain
(“Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899)

"All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

The secret is the Torah, it's like water which is the source of the life as we know it. Only those that adhere to the Torah -without compromising- have the privilege to be part of this immortal nation. When you compromise, you lose that connection and just two or three generations down, your off spring will abandon the nation.

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 Jan 13, 2013 at 07:26 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #74  
Facts1 Says:

Now you're being Petty, is Wikipedia also part of the ultra orthodox movement?

Everyone knows the story of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi and Antoninus who were exchanged when the court came to check of Rebbi Yehuda was circumcised against the "Roman" emperor's law.

How hate can manipulate the obvious. Next you'll tell me it's a midrash.

Your point is well taken, and I concede. In the תוספות ע"ז י ע"ב we learn:

כשנולד רבי גזרו שלא למול ואביו ואמו מלוהו שלח קיסר והביאו לרבי ואמו לפניו והחליפתו אמו באנטונינוס והניקתו עד שהביאתו לפני קיסר ומצאוהו ופטרום לשלום

I stand corrected!

81

 Jan 13, 2013 at 10:42 AM Well Says:

Reply to #75  
ChachoMoe Says:

Allow me to quote an excerpt of a responsum written by one of the most revered Lithuanian Poskim of the 19th century; the Aderet Tumim
אדר"ת תאומים:
מה שהרופאים אומרים לבטל את המציצה, ומדמין זאת לרחיצת המילה והאיספלנית, וכמין שבטלה בזמן הזה שנשתנה הטבע, יש לדון, שהמציצה הוא גם כן מצוה ד’לדם ברית’ הוא צריך ובנולד מהול צריך להטיף דם ברית, וע״כ מוטלת המציצה על האומן המוהל דווקא, ועכ״א אומנא דלא מייץ סכנתא הוא ומעכבינן ליה- ולא אמרו כן באיספלנית וכדומה, וצ״ל משום דה״א דמציצה אינו רק משום שיורי מצוה דכל דנפיק טפי זוהמת דם לידה עדיף להידור מצוה (ואולי לא דחי שבת כציצין שא״מ) קמ״ל דסכנתא נמי איכא בהא, ועכ"פ מצוה נמי איכא בה, וע"כ מוטלת גם כן על המוהל.

ועכ״א הרחמן יברך המל ופרע ומצץ ולא חשיב הרוחץ המילה ואיספלנית וכמון, ומכל מקום זולת הסכנה ל״ה מעברינן להמוהל בשבילה, רק היו מזהירין אותו. (ובמג״ א תקנ״ט לא התירו לאכול בת"ב שנדחה רק לשלש אלה דמצוה - ולא לכמון ואיספלנית)

Bandages were to promote the healing process, which continued on for many days, Metzitza was believed to litterally save the infant from dying.
The Asiyas hamitzvah was over at the Priyoh. We can not belittle the Loshon Hagomoroh and all the Rishonim who define Metzitza as a removal of Sekonoh.
By the way, they used to do Metzitza Bpeh on all kind of wounds.

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 Jan 13, 2013 at 03:09 PM JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to #78  
Facts1 Says:

"Are you arguing that because the fact that there is no Karaite or Sadducees movement, and Judaism is still part of today’s society therefore, what?"

Karaite and Sadducees were Jewish break away movements that disappeared because the have veered off the Orthodox Rabbinical guidance, they were reformed.

Reply to # 77, 78
I see you took my advice and spend some time to put together your though.
When Mark Twain wrote, “His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.” Believe me he didn’t write about the Jews from the Shtetele Beltz, Satmer, Lubavitch or, any other religious groups.
You wrote “Orthodox Rabbinical guidance”

Again I am not sure what is the “logical” argument behind that, are you arguing that because one sect devoured the other sects, therefore that must be divine. From the beginning of mankind, every religion, had splinter groups which eventually disappeared, that is not why one should belief in HaShem, not because he has a point which he thinks will support his personal beliefs. No believing in HaShem, is the commandment, that means without any prove or logic I belief in HaShem not because, Mark Twain said something nice about the Jews, or you have a point of contention, that the follower of Espinoza, Mendolson, (which are not any religion in nature) or others, have vanished.

83

 Jan 13, 2013 at 04:44 PM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #81  
Well Says:

Bandages were to promote the healing process, which continued on for many days, Metzitza was believed to litterally save the infant from dying.
The Asiyas hamitzvah was over at the Priyoh. We can not belittle the Loshon Hagomoroh and all the Rishonim who define Metzitza as a removal of Sekonoh.
By the way, they used to do Metzitza Bpeh on all kind of wounds.

Obviously, you totally misunderstood his point on how to interpret the Talmud. And BTW, there are many other poskim who say p'shat that the Talmud is only ADDING another purpose to its practice, when mentioning its medical. (Hence, the difference will be as in ציצין שלא מעכבין does not override Shabbat, the same would be with מציצה, if not for its medical benefits.) Moreover, from the mystical kabalah perspective, all agree its an essential part of the mitzvah. See Ohr haChayim parshat Tazria.

Hence, Kabalah should decide wherein the interpretation Talmud is questionable.

84

 Jan 13, 2013 at 08:52 PM Facts1 Says:

Reply to #82  
JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to # 77, 78
I see you took my advice and spend some time to put together your though.
When Mark Twain wrote, “His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.” Believe me he didn’t write about the Jews from the Shtetele Beltz, Satmer, Lubavitch or, any other religious groups.
You wrote “Orthodox Rabbinical guidance”

Again I am not sure what is the “logical” argument behind that, are you arguing that because one sect devoured the other sects, therefore that must be divine. From the beginning of mankind, every religion, had splinter groups which eventually disappeared, that is not why one should belief in HaShem, not because he has a point which he thinks will support his personal beliefs. No believing in HaShem, is the commandment, that means without any prove or logic I belief in HaShem not because, Mark Twain said something nice about the Jews, or you have a point of contention, that the follower of Espinoza, Mendolson, (which are not any religion in nature) or others, have vanished.

Mark Twain was admiring continuity, the "immortal" Jew, inquiring about the source of its continuity. Their contribution to mankind is just backing up his argument about Jews being (unique and) constant, but the premise was continuity.

We know the source to both their continuity and their intelligence, the Torah. The contribution of those people he admired are so minute compared to the talent of the Even Ezra, Rambam, Baal Hatanya (Lubavitch) a legendary philosopher, classical music composer, Jewish law author, and Talmudic genius, or a genius like R' Akiva Eiger, the Rogetchover, the Ramchal, Arizal. Oh how I can write an entire book case about each. Think of how much the Arizal covered in 32 yrs or how many books the Ramchal wrote in 39 years, on almost every topic including grammer, speech, Kabbalah, Mussar.

Had Twain he known them he really would have been impressed, no question.

When one sect devours over the other sects, it must be divine that those have vanished, or the world would have no purpose to continue. "Survival of the fittest" is a scientific supported notion. And just to finish off, Mendelson and Espinoza did have a following and they too disappeared.

85

 Jan 14, 2013 at 09:30 AM JoeGrossJR Says:

Reply to #84  
Facts1 Says:

Mark Twain was admiring continuity, the "immortal" Jew, inquiring about the source of its continuity. Their contribution to mankind is just backing up his argument about Jews being (unique and) constant, but the premise was continuity.

We know the source to both their continuity and their intelligence, the Torah. The contribution of those people he admired are so minute compared to the talent of the Even Ezra, Rambam, Baal Hatanya (Lubavitch) a legendary philosopher, classical music composer, Jewish law author, and Talmudic genius, or a genius like R' Akiva Eiger, the Rogetchover, the Ramchal, Arizal. Oh how I can write an entire book case about each. Think of how much the Arizal covered in 32 yrs or how many books the Ramchal wrote in 39 years, on almost every topic including grammer, speech, Kabbalah, Mussar.

Had Twain he known them he really would have been impressed, no question.

When one sect devours over the other sects, it must be divine that those have vanished, or the world would have no purpose to continue. "Survival of the fittest" is a scientific supported notion. And just to finish off, Mendelson and Espinoza did have a following and they too disappeared.

It Seems to me that we are at an impasse, you continue to use historical Jewish religious giants, as the subject of Mark Twain’s observation. I am just reading verbatim what, Twain is alluding to, the cultured Jews, which normally are part of science and the arts.
And just to finish off you worte, “Mendelson and Espinoza did have a following and they too disappeared” so did Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, but that doesn’t make them a religion.

86

 Jan 14, 2013 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #75  
ChachoMoe Says:

Allow me to quote an excerpt of a responsum written by one of the most revered Lithuanian Poskim of the 19th century; the Aderet Tumim
אדר"ת תאומים:
מה שהרופאים אומרים לבטל את המציצה, ומדמין זאת לרחיצת המילה והאיספלנית, וכמין שבטלה בזמן הזה שנשתנה הטבע, יש לדון, שהמציצה הוא גם כן מצוה ד’לדם ברית’ הוא צריך ובנולד מהול צריך להטיף דם ברית, וע״כ מוטלת המציצה על האומן המוהל דווקא, ועכ״א אומנא דלא מייץ סכנתא הוא ומעכבינן ליה- ולא אמרו כן באיספלנית וכדומה, וצ״ל משום דה״א דמציצה אינו רק משום שיורי מצוה דכל דנפיק טפי זוהמת דם לידה עדיף להידור מצוה (ואולי לא דחי שבת כציצין שא״מ) קמ״ל דסכנתא נמי איכא בהא, ועכ"פ מצוה נמי איכא בה, וע"כ מוטלת גם כן על המוהל.

ועכ״א הרחמן יברך המל ופרע ומצץ ולא חשיב הרוחץ המילה ואיספלנית וכמון, ומכל מקום זולת הסכנה ל״ה מעברינן להמוהל בשבילה, רק היו מזהירין אותו. (ובמג״ א תקנ״ט לא התירו לאכול בת"ב שנדחה רק לשלש אלה דמצוה - ולא לכמון ואיספלנית)

There is no Magen Avrohom that even hints that Metzitza is part of the Mitzvah. Please look it up and quote the Loshon.
People are just desperate to find a Mekor for Metzitza being a Mitzva.

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